New scratch ‘n’ sniff edition of Roald Dahl’s The Twits

Roald Dahl’s Mr Twit is a foul and smelly old man with a filthy beard filled with such disgusting leftover food as maggoty green cheese, a mouldy cornflake and a slimy tinned sardine. And now readers can add more malodorous items to Mr Twit’s hairy jungle with scratch ‘n’ sniff stickers of fish, eggs, and frogs in the new edition of The Twits.

The Twits was first published in 1980, and tells the story of how the Muggle-Wump monkeys seek revenge on the revolting titular characters for imprisoning and forcing the monkey family to train in the Great Upside Down Monkey Circus.

The Twits was recently turned into a theatre adaptation at the Royal Court with Jason Watkins and Monica Dolan as the horrid couple Mr and Mrs Twit.

The Twits paperback edition is priced at £5.99.

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Winners announced for Go Set a Watchman illustration competition

Amber Bennett Ford's winning image for the Go Set a Watchman competition.

Amber Bennett Ford’s winning image for the Go Set a Watchman illustration competition.

The winners of the Go Set a Watchman illustration competition has been announced as Darrel Bevan, Rob Dyer, Georgia Knowles, Katerina Kleimans, Kelly Brasel, Natalie Adkins, Paul Draper, Rachel Finegan, Sarah Ushurhe, Thomas Lowe, and Amber Bennett Ford.

Competition entrants were asked to create illustrations based on the line from Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman: “Every man’s island, Jean Louise, every man’s watchman, is his conscience”.

The winning images have been chosen to take part in an exhibition at Waterstones Piccadilly as part of the bookshop’s midnight opening event. The work of professional illustrators like Paul Thurlby and Linzie Hunter will also be exhibited.

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Happy birthday Miffy!

Miffy statue created under the supervision of Mariko Mikuni and knitted by Junko Tamura.

Miffy with Kesennuma hand-knitted outfit as part of the Miffy Art Parade.

This year Miffy celebrates her 60th birthday. Happy birthday Miffy!

As part of the celebration, 60 Miffy statues were created by many different artists for the Miffy Art Parade. The project will also be raising money for UNICEF to support education projects. Marte Röling, who designed the Golden Miffy statue, said: “I decided to honour Miffy’s simplicity and perfection by clothing her in the very best gold leaf available”.

Miffy also partnered with Bliss the national charity for premature and sick babies. The sweet rabbit took part in Bake for Bliss in February.

And the Dutch publishing company Mercis bv made a one-minute film highlighting the best Miffy images from the last 60 years. It charts Miffy’s development from a floppy, unsymmetrical drawing to her rounder form today. Marja Kerkhof, Managing Director at Mercis bv, commented: “This video shows why, as an iconic character, Miffy’s enduring appeal lies in her simple, timeless design – recognised and loved by adults and children worldwide over the last six decades.”

Textile designer and screen printer Jane Foster is marking the occasion with her limited edition Miffy handmade cushion covers, cotton shopper bags and purses made from vintage Miffy fabrics.

The first Miffy book was published in 1955. The Miffy titles have been translated into more than 50 languages, and sold more than 85 million copies around the world.

The 60th anniversary edition of Miffy’s Birthday by Dick Bruna is available to buy for £8.99.

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Chris Riddell is new Children’s Laureate

Chris Riddell, author/illustrator of the Goth Girl series, is the new Waterstones Children’s Laureate. The announcement was made at BAFTA in London’s Piccadilly, where Riddell received a specially commissioned solid silver medal and a £15,000 bursary cheque. In his new position, he is especially keen to promote visual literacy, by encouraging families to keep picture-filled diaries, and appearing at live events. He will also be championing the importance of school libraries and inspiring librarians.

Riddell said: “I am humbled to take on this role after the giants that have come before me. I want to put the joy of creativity, of drawing every day, of having a go and being surprised at what one can achieve with just a pencil and an idea at the heart of my term as Laureate. I want to make sure people have fun whilst addressing fundamental issues I care about passionately.”

James Daunt, Waterstones Managing Director, said: “The Laureate performs an important role in bringing issues of literacy to public attention, and each does it in their own inimitable style. We at Waterstones could not be happier at Chris’s appointment: he is a firm favourite of our booksellers and of by far our most important customers – the young readers of the United Kingdom. We will be very proud to support him over the next two years.”

Riddell has won the Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration twice for Pirate Diary: The Journal of Jake Carpenter and Gulliver, as well as being shortlisted for the prize for The Graveyard Book written by Neil Gaiman.

Riddell celebrated his new role with a series of drawings depicting past Children Laureates including Quentin Blake, Anne Fine, Michael Morpurgo, Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Rosen, Anthony Browne, Julia Donaldson and Malorie Blackman, as well as himself as the current Laureate.

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Go Set a Watchman art competition

Penguin Random House are asking creative individuals to enter artwork based on Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman in a competition for a chance to see their work exhibited at Waterstones Piccadilly alongside six established illustrators’ images.

Entrants need to create pictures inspired by the only line released so far from Go Set a Watchman: “Every man’s island, Jean Louise, every man’s watchman, is his conscience”.

Only 10 of the best pieces will appear in the London bookshop for two weeks. The winners will also receive a Penguin Random House books bundle worth £50.

Submissions need to be sent digitally via attachment or a link to the email address gosetawatchman@penguinrandomhouse.co.uk by 19 June.

Go Set a Watchman will be published on 14 July.

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Ali Smith wins Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction

Ali Smith is the winner of this year’s Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction with How to be Both a dual narrative about an Italian renaissance artist Francesco del Cossa and a grieving British teenager of the 1960s George.

Smith has beaten Rachel Cusk’s Outline, Laline Paull’s The Bees, Kamila Shamsie’s A God in Every Stone, Anne Tyler’s A Spool of Blue Thread, and Sarah Waters’ The Paying Guests.

Shami Chakrabarti, Chair of Judges, commented: “Ancient and modern meet and speak to each other in this tender, brilliant and witty novel of grief, love, sexuality and shape-shifting identity.”

How to be Both has already won the Goldsmiths Prize, the Costa Novel Award and the Saltire Society Literary Book of the Year Award, as well as making it on the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize, and being nominated for the Folio Prize.

Last year’s winner was Eimear McBride with her title A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing.

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Nicola Davies on Royal Society Young People’s Prize shortlist

The Royal Society Young People’s Prize shortlist, featuring Nicola Davies and Emily Sutton’s Tiny: The Invisible World of Microbes, has been announced. The award aims to promote the best science writing for under-14s.

The judges commented on Davies and Sutton’s work: “You might not have even heard of microbes before reading this book however it brings to life beautifully what they are and why they are so important. It’s also an absolutely gorgeous picture book.”

The other shortlisted works are 365 Science Activities by various authors, Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor by Jon Scieszka and Brian Biggs, Jake’s Bones by Jake McGowan-Lowe, Night Sky Watcher by Raman Prinja, and Utterly Amazing Science by Professor Robert Winston.

Each shortlisted book will be given £1,000, and the winner will be the recipient of £10.000.

Past winners include Mighty Microbes by Thompson Yardley, and The Global Garden by Kate Petty, Jennie Maizels and Corina Fletcher.

The winner will be revealed in November.

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